Monday, April 16, 2012

Francis Wheen: Library and unfinished novel consumed by fire

Remains of Francis Wheen's shed
Photo by Bertie Wheen - reproduced by kind permission
Click once for enlargement
Yes, I have a heart. And it goes out to Francis Wheen, the deputy editor of Private Eye whose 'shed' (as he calls it) at his home in Essex was reduced to a pile by fire. Thank God (or happenstance), no one was hurt. The Indy carries a report today.

In addition to losing 5,000 books, priceless editions and records, his novel-in-progress also went up in smoke. Every author's worst nightmare. We must not make too much of the date of the conflagration - Friday the 13th. Only a very cruel deity would exact such spiteful revenge - but what am I saying?

Madame Arcati prays that by some miracle he is able to recover his novel. I'd look at his horoscope but perhaps this is not the time. The offer remains open (confidentiality assured).

Francis Wheen interviewed on The World At One on BBC Radio 4 - click here

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